Auckland Council seeks sale of Bright’s house

A protest that may have gradually got out of hand may now result in Penny bright losing her house.

Council seeks sale of Kingsland property to recover rates

Auckland Council has asked the High Court to proceed with the sale of a Kingsland property owned by Ms Penny Bright to recover unpaid rates and penalties dating back to 2007.

The council obtained a judgment against Ms Penny Bright in the Auckland District Court in January 2016.

Following an unsuccessful appeal by Ms Bright and a statutory six-month stand down period, the council has now asked the High Court to commence the sale process.

“Taking enforcement action to recover unpaid rates is the last resort and happens very rarely,” says Auckland Council’s Acting Group Chief Financial Officer Matthew Walker.

“The council has written to Ms Bright regularly over the last six months offering to resolve this matter. We have also offered to meet with her to discuss rates postponement, which she has declined.

“While we would prefer not to have reached this point, the council needs to be fair to the thousands of Aucklanders who do pay their rates or have a payment plan in place.

“It’s important for property owners to know that there are always options available to resolve unpaid rates without causing financial hardship, including through a rates postponement. As a result, in almost all cases like this, we have been able to avoid taking enforcement action.”

The judgment was for $34,182.56 in rates and penalties outstanding as at 30 June 2015. The council has been awarded total costs in the District and High Courts of $20,329.20.

If an arrangement can’t be reached with Ms Bright and the sale of the property goes ahead, it will be used to recover the full amount of outstanding rates and penalties and any further costs, including real estate agency and legal fees.

The remainder of the proceeds from the sale would be released to Ms Bright through the Public Trust.

Timeline:

Background to Ms Bright’s outstanding rates:

  • Ms Bright stopped making rates payments in 2007.
  • Auckland Council first issued proceedings against Ms Bright in 2011 seeking to recover payment of unpaid rates from June 2006 to June 2011.
  • It obtained judgment by default however that was set aside by the Court on technical grounds.
  • In 2015 the council sought summary judgment for unpaid rates from June 2011 to January 2015.
  • In January 2016, the District Court entered judgment for Auckland Council against Ms Bright for $34,182.56 for outstanding rates and penalties. Costs were awarded in the council’s favour for $13,249.20.
  • In July 2016 the High Court dismissed Ms Bright’s appeal and awarded costs in favour of the council for $7080.00.
  • In March 2017 the council applied to the High Court to enforce the judgment by sale pursuant to section 67 of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 (LGRA).
  • In May 2017 the High Court issued a notice pursuant to the LGRA requiring Ms Bright to pay the judgment sum, costs and all remaining rates due on the property.
  • After a compulsory six-month stand down period, in December 2017 the council requested the High Court to proceed with the sale of the property.
  • Throughout this period the council has continued to invite Ms Bright to make payment or to apply for a rates postponement. No payment or application has been received.

When withholding payments in protest it would be prudent to set aside the money in case you need to pay it, as is very likely with something like rates, but penalties can also grow a debt substantially.

Losing your house is a high price to pay for a highly questionable stand on some sort of principle. The only real loser could ever have been Bright.

 

41 Comments

  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  January 22, 2018

    Penny Dim rather than Bright, I think that the Council have shown incredible patience.

    I had an invoice from our Council today-dated the 16th-due date the 2nd (of this month) The 10% penallty for late payment is only 90c as it’s the water invoice.

  2. Corky

     /  January 22, 2018

    I do admire this lady in some ways, but the time as come for her to become homeless and get a shopping trolley.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  January 22, 2018

      I don’t admire her at all, and think that her judgement has been very poor. She will have enough left for another house…but what a stupid way to spend $50,000+.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  January 22, 2018

        The council will have no reason to ask a good price, all they need to do is get their money back. That happened with a house in my street.

        • Blazer

           /  January 22, 2018

          they are duty bound to get a market price.Bet money..they don’t sell..it anyway.

        • lurcher1948

           /  January 22, 2018

          Another court case and another
          $ 50000 bill to the idiots of auckland SUCKERS sue them again Penny Bright best show in NZ

      • Corky

         /  January 22, 2018

        Ah, yes, I forgot. Auckland realestate.

        • Blazer

           /  January 22, 2018

          ‘Bright said she put her freehold property on the line 10 years ago in her fight to get the council to become transparent and follow the legislation of Section 17 of the Public Record Act – specifically for private contracts.

          The Act detailed the requirement to create and maintain records.’

    • Blazer

       /  January 22, 2018

      neither you nor the bluff oyster understand the principle..here.Penny has a mortgage free home…and has put aside the rates ..money.So sorry to the schadenfreude 2!

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  January 22, 2018

        WANTED: Nits to pick by expert. Please apply to BLAZER, c/o YNZ

    • Blazer

       /  January 22, 2018

      ‘The perennial activist and mayoral candidate said council was not providing information required under the Public Records Act about how Aucklanders’ rates were being spent.

      “Rates have rocketed in Auckland, but where have they gone? I will not pay Auckland council rates until the books are opened. I believe there will be a number of people who will help support me in my stand for the council to open the books.”

      She did not believe council would be successful in its legal battle to recover her unpaid rates.

      “My house is not going to be sold and Auckland council is going to comply with the rule of law.”stuff.

  3. Patzcuaro

     /  January 22, 2018

    Penny Bright can’t see the wood for the trees and has just wasted ratepayers money for no good reason. Is there any municipality out there who wants her?

    • Blazer

       /  January 22, 2018

      courageous woman….how dare she ask how ratepayers money is spent!!Even though they supposedly have a transparent ‘policy’ enshrined in local body legislation.Its commercially sensitive!!We don’t want the gravy trainers/consultants and priveleged to have to be…scrutinised,by the..’little people’…

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  January 22, 2018

        If you were a rate payer, would you want all your details to be available to nosey parkers ? If you were putting a tender in, would you want anyone to be able to look it up ? Would you want your personal, confidential details to be available to every stickybeak ?

        • Blazer

           /  January 22, 2018

          spending ratepayers money,means ratepayers are entitled to know how its spent…in my world….apparantly its called accountability,integrity and transparency…but theold boy network,know if that became the norm…they would be extremely embarrassed…hardworking….thats for…suckers.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  January 22, 2018

            Don’t be such a cretin. You have no idea of how a council works. Get off your arse and go to meetings. Stand for council-if you think that you have a chance of getting in. Read the website. I know that it’s easier to bitch and make slanderous comments, but do some actual work for a change and find out the facts.

            • Blazer

               /  January 22, 2018

              you have offered no rebuttal to the charge that spending ratepayers money should be transparent,and ..accountable.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 22, 2018

              What do you IMAGINE that it’s spent on ? Read the information sent to ratepayers.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  January 22, 2018

            Yes, I can see that you believe that hard workers are suckers, but not everyone does, You also seem to imagine that councillors are men-they are not. We even have women mayors in NZ and have for some time.

            • Blazer

               /  January 22, 2018

              old boy network is only taken literally by…nitpickers.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 22, 2018

              My point, exactly. It’s hard to see how women can be old boys. 0/10 to Blazer.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 22, 2018

              SITUATION WANTED: Picker seeks nits-apply Blazer c/o YNZ

        • duperez

           /  January 22, 2018

          Would you want your personal, confidential details to be available to every stickybeak ? Just a mo, I’ll ask Winston what he thinks. 🙃

        • Blazer

           /  January 22, 2018

          Hres a couple of ‘good sorts’/hardworkers spending ratepayers money…’Pam Ford, of Auckland Council’s economic development arm, has been based in San Francisco since March last year.

          On Saturday, the Herald revealed that Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) had created a contract in London for one of its senior executives, Grant Jenkins, at a cost to ratepayers of more than $230,000.

          His English-born wife was homesick and had been longing to return home for several years, according to a former council staffer.

          Yesterday, an Ateed spokesman confirmed that Ms Ford, the project manager for Ateed’s leverage programme at the 2013 America’s Cup in San Francisco, had returned to the city for a joint role with New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade as a VIP programme manager.’

          i

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  January 22, 2018

            Giving someone a job is standard practice in businesses. They haven’t created one just for him. Someone would have done it,

            • Blazer

               /  January 22, 2018

              ‘had created a contract in London for one of its senior executives, Grant Jenkins, at a cost to ratepayers of more than $230,000.’….I see the sherry..is getting to you…again!

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 22, 2018

              Clever of it when I don’t drink any alcohol at all and haven’t for many years.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 22, 2018

              SOUR GRAPES-excess supply, discount for quantity. Apply to Blazer, c/o YNZ.

            • Blazer

               /  January 22, 2018

              of course you haven’t…its only cooking..sherry..dry..of course.Either that or sucking too many…lemons.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 23, 2018

              People don’t DRINK cooking sherry-you might, but by definition it is for cooking and only the desperate drink it. I said that I don’t drink alcohol-that means alcohol in any form.

              Have you been at the vinegar again ?

        • lurcher1948

           /  January 22, 2018

          Yes and the tender could have a big stinky BRIBE in it for the tender officer

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  January 23, 2018

            I doubt it. Anyone trying that would be asking for trouble. Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Pass Go, Do not Collect $200. These things are decided by the council, I believe, not one person.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  January 23, 2018

            Council tenders are advertised on council websites. No chance of bribery-the person would have to offer so many people bribes and be sure that they would accept them that it wouldn’t be worth it.

          • Blazer

             /  January 23, 2018

            dead rightr Lurch…heres one recent snapshot of reality…that the naïve,the gullible and the plain stupid don’t..understand.
            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11763594

  4. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  January 22, 2018

    The Auckland City Council should have taken action years ago before this poor deluded lady was placed in such an invidious position.

    • Blazer

       /  January 22, 2018

      the Council did not want to attract any attention to her campaign for transparency-‘council was not providing information required under the Public Records Act about how Aucklanders’ rates were being spent….’they thought she would tire..and buckle..they thought…wrong.

      • Patzcuaro

         /  January 22, 2018

        It is fine for her to engage with the council as part of the democratic process but if everybody stopped paying their rates there would be a shambles. At a certain point the good of the society out weighs the individual.

        • Blazer

           /  January 23, 2018

          thats pretty lame Patz…if everybody continued being lambs to the slaughter nothing would ever change.I take it you are satisfied with how ratepayers money is…spent then.